Chinese New Year is just over a week away, and everyone is getting ready. Bak kwa queues are snaking around the block and shopping malls are packed with chatty shoppers looking for CNY clothes.

For most of us, this festive period is one of great joy – spending time with beloved family members by gambling, laughing and drinking over delicious snacks. It is possibly one of the most awaited holidays of the year!

…Well, not for everyone though.

MAD 2(Image credits: MAD)

For some elderly folks, this time of the year is filled with dread. Many of them live alone, and the happy celebrations only serve to remind them of their loneliness.

In fact, elderly suicide rates increase during the festive period – not before, not after.

Well, this is a problem that MAD aims to resolve.

Never heard of MAD before? Well, it is a young non-for-profit company that helps youths unlock their fullest potential through a fusion of volunteering and leadership training. They carry out regular visitations to elderly folks as well as enriching training programmes for volunteers.

MAD founders

The brains and hearts behind MAD (Image credits: MAD)

Meet the founders – Benjamin Low, Justine Lee, Caroline Tham and Joshua Tan. Besides having a whole host of accomplishments under their belt, these passionate youths have banded together to spearhead MAD so as to serve the community and nurture giving souls.

MAD 3The assembly point for visitations – Redhill MRT (Image credits: MAD)

Every year, MAD organises Chinese New Year visitations to elderly folks staying in Redhill Estate. This year, the visitations will be held on 初一 (Day 1) and 初二 (Day 2), from 2pm – 4pm each day.

People of all ages from all walks of life are welcome to join! All you’ll need is some mandarins, friendliness and a desire to bring some joy into someone else’s life.

MAD 11

(Image credits: MAD)

Volunteers will set off in groups to cover as many units as possible. If you are rather shy, fear not – conducting the visitations with fellow volunteers will help to alleviate your nervousness!

MAD 9

(Image credits: MAD)

Elderly people are often stigmatised for being cold and mean, but don’t let that false belief deter you. You’ll be surprised to see how delighted many of them are to receive a CNY visit!

MAD 4

(Image credits: MAD)

MAD 1

There is simply nothing like putting a smile on someone else’s face. (Image credits: MAD)

MAD 5

And who knows, you might just make a friend along the way! (Image credits: MAD)

MAD 8

(Image credits: MAD)

Also, don’t be too envious of the MAD crew’s awesome and uniquely Singaporean t-shirts. You can purchase one here for yourself, so that your outfit for the next visitation is settled!

So this Chinese New Year, instead of making money at the mahjong table, why not make someone’s day with this meaningful and unforgettable experience?

Here are more details:

(Do note that the year in the poster should be 2016, not 2015.)

We hope to see you there!

 
 
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